1990 April 1 – 5th Sun Lent (Bulletin Letters)
5th Sun of Lent Cycle A
Jn 11, 1 – 45
“RABBI,” PROTESTED THE DISCIPLES, “WITH THE JEWS ONLY RECENTLY TRYING TO
STONE YOU, YOU ARE GOING BACK UP THERE?” John 11/8:
Last week’s Gospel of the man born blind was the last of John’s ‘signs’ before today’s Gospel
story of the raising of Lazarus. Between the curing of the blind beggar and today’s Gospel, Jesus delivered his teaching about the Good Shepherd, in which he repeatedly made the claim that he will “lay down his life” for his sheep. Jesus ‘s Good Shepherd speech is seen as a direct criticism of the current leadership of the Jewish people. His opponents then try to have him stoned, while he was teaching in the Temple. By the time we get to today’s story the authorities were looking for Jesus. Jesus had crossed over to the other side of the Jordan River for safekeeping. Jesus knows he will have to make good his commitment to “lay down his life” and he must have sensed that that time was quickly approaching. Jesus may well have wondered who and what would provide the occasion.
Then word arrives from Martha and Mary: Lazarus is very ill. Knowing the danger of his returning to Judea, they make no demand. They also knew he would not appreciate being “spared” sad knowledge about his sick friend. Word is sent. The risk for Jesus to return to the Jerusalem area was
immense. Jesus delayed his return to Lazarus for two days. It is as if he is struggling with his decision. Should he go to his friend Lazarus, who is in need and risk his own life or should he play it safe and stay away from Jerusalem until the situation cooled down?
Jesus chooses to return to Bethany to help his friend. It is only fitting the event that triggered Jesus’ final confrontation with the ‘powers that be’ in John’s Gospel be based on his effort to help a friend. Seeing Lazarus four days cold in a tomb, Jesus faced death head on with all its terrible consequences. By bringing Lazarus back to life, he showed he had the power to break deaths’ hold on life. The raising of Lazarus was the last sign Jesus performed before his own passion and death. It serves both as the occasion for Jesus’ death and a sign of the Easter event to follow.
90 04 01 Resistance
TRIAL UPDATE: I have received word from Bill Switzer, my attorney, that our motion for continuance has been accepted. The trial is set to take place on or after April 16, 1990. We still do not have an exact date. Our request for a 3-week warning was not assured. We can count on me being with you at least through Easter. At the trial we hope to put on a Necessity Defense. A Necessity Defense is based on the principle that in certain circumstances a person ‘can’ and ‘should’ break a lesser law for the greater good. The clearest example of this principle is the case of a child trapped in a burning building. A person ‘ can’ and ‘should’ try to break into the building to save the child. Breaking into a building is against the law but may be necessary in order to save the child’s life. For my defense, we will claim my crossing the line at SAC is a necessary effort in order to warn the larger community of the clear and catastrophic danger inherent in SAC’s mission. The judge will determine whether this defense is acceptable or not. We hope to be allowed to put Bill Durland, a good friend, on the witness stand as an expert witness. Bill Durland is an author, teacher, lawyer and theologian. He is schooled in the International Law and the history of Civil Disobedience and dissent in the USA. He helped found the Community for Creative Non-violence and the Center on Law & Pacifism. Bill lives in Colorado and is willing to attend my trial to speak on my behalf.
90 04 01 – YOUR LENTEN CONFESSION: This coming Monday, April 2nd, at Holy Family Parish
and on Sunday April 8th at St. Anne’s, Communal Reconciliation will be available and on Saturday April 7th in the afternoon Private Reconciliation will be available in both parishes: 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Holy Family and 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at St. Anne’s. Please make every effort to attend one of these Sacramental opportunities. This Sacrament has been greatly under used in recent years, which is a shame. The Graces afforded in the formal rite of Reconciliation are as needed today as they ever were. Don’t pass up this opportunity – GO TO CONFESSION! IT IS GOOD FOR THE SOUL!!